Have a look around Handcrafted harpichords Knowledge and intuition, experience and experimenting, they all blend together when I work. Have a look around Handcrafted harpichords Knowledge and intuition, experience and experimenting, they all blend together when I work. Italian single Harpichord Have a look around Handcrafted harpichords Knowledge and intuition, experience and experimenting, they all blend together when I work.
signature Jan Kalsbeek

Jan Kalsbeek

Curiosity started me building harpsichords. Today it is as strong as it was when I begun my first instrument in 1973. Since then, I created almost a hundred of them. While building, I open my mind to the soul of the instrument – that is the challenge and the commitment. It is in my hands to bring it into form. It is a mysterious process.

I have had no formal education in woodworking nor harpsichord building, so I needed to be resourceful. For guidance, I looked to the instruments of the old masters: noticing how they had proceeded, and trying to figure out the grounds for the solutions they chose. I never cease to be surprised at the multiplicity of the roads that can be taken. This inspires me to always learn.

Jan Kalsbeek in his workshop
soundboard

Beginnings

1973

After studies at the Library Academy, Jan spent several years working in that field, but at around the age of twenty he became fascinated by the harpsichord. A cheaply acquired instrument was restored by him in order to play it. Inspired by this, in 1973, he began to make his first instrument.

Jan Kalsbeek Workshop

Workshop Zutphen

1984

Jan decided to become a full-time harpsichord maker in 1984. Since that time, Jan has lived and worked in the Dutch Hanseatic town of Zutphen, where he has a studio in a medieval premises in the old centre of the town.

drawing of a harpsichord type

Experimenting & Inventing

1984-2020

There are many models of harpichords and quite a few that I haven't been making myself. However studying on old drawings and listeming to other instruments drives me to invent, enhance and experiment.

Jan Kalsbeek at a harpichord

The Future

2020

Still being passionate about making harpichords I have still a few models I'd love to make on my wish list.

Have a look around

This is what I make

Once I heard a great harpichord concert, and listening I realised that I heard no instrument, no player, just music. Since then, I know that this is what I want to realise in my instruments.  That is my calling.
I am a craftsman and knowledge and intuition, experience and experimenting, they all blend together when I work.